Vaal Triangle History

1889 - 1902


Klip Power Station

William Stow




1939 - 1945

Peace Negotiations



Riviera Hotel

Vereeniging History

his own residence, probably about the year 1915. Later, the Riviera Hotel was erected nearby. Roy Lewis, Isaac's son, lived for a time in the house; and when he left for the United Kingdom, Louis Marks repurchased the house and grounds for Vereeniging Estates. Subsequently, the company converted Lewis' home into a club house and established the Vereeniging Country Club.
  Although the Town Planning Committee recommended that Council enter into negotiations to purchase the club, the Finance and General Purposes Committee declined.
  In November 1947, attorneys for the new owners, the New Union Goldfields Limited, then under judicial management, invited the Council to make an offer for the club. A public meeting was held in the National Hotel and Mayor Fourie, the Town Clerk and the Town Solicitor were delegated to enter into negotiations. In the exchange of correspondence that followed neither side could be drawn on price until finally the Town Council offered the municipal value of the property - £47,250.
  The judicial managers then advertised the sale of both the Country Club and the adjoining Riviera Hotel, and the Council withdrew its offer, suggesting that when all
tenders had been received, negotiations could be reopened. The Council could not tender because its offer was public knowledge. During the negotiations the Council's efforts were supported by the Country Club Committee and the Chamber of Commerce.
  A confidential Council minute of May 4 1948, records that the judicial managers were not prepared to sell the Club and the Riviera separately because British financiers interested in buying both, hoped to sell the Club to the Council at a higher price. On May 20, after representatives had interviewed the Provincial Secretary, Council resolved to expropriate the Club and its grounds. The judicial managers raised no objections but they declined the £47,250 offered as compensation.
  On July 15, the Council was advised that because the Club was operating at a loss the judicial managers wanted to know if the Council would take over soon, if not the Club would be closed down. The Council replied that such a move would diminish the amount of compensation.
  In July, after appointing appraisers, the judicial managers claimed £100,000 compensation, which Council declined, and advised that arbitration would be taken. On October 1, 1948, the Municipality took over the Vereeniging Country Club and in the same month the Acting Provincial Secretary approved a Council grant-in-aid to the Club of £500 for the year 1948-49.
  In January the following year, the Council and the judicial managers agreed to contribute equally to pay £1,500 compensation to the former Club owner, A. D. "Bobby" Locke, who was retained as the Club's resident professional golfer.
  Finally, the arbitration court sat in lengthy session from January 26 to February 3, 1949 and in June awarded the former owners of the Club £57,000 in compensation.
  Membership of the Club is open to all residents, subject to the normal club procedures, and, assisted as it is by a Council grant-in-aid of £9,800 a year, the Club not only has become a venue for the town's industrialists and businessmen, but it has played host to many of the nation's dignitaries; among them Prime Minister John Vorster, then Minister of Jus­tice, who played in a Parliamentary team that lost to a Vereeniging team, captained by Mayor John Swanepoel, in October, 1964.
Once the home of Isaac Lewis, the residence above was converted into a clubhouse for the Vereeniging Country Club
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Vereeniging Country Club
Chapter 13:  A Town at War 1939 - 1945